Kale. Kale. Kale.
Alas, the current ass of many jokes (not to mention great Lean Cuisine spots during Top Chef) and the boring point of many health freak conversations. To be honest, I started to buy kale two weeks ago at farmers market for the same reason and the same way that I select and purchase books, wine and men- I like pretty things.
This funky compilation that I threw together the other night accomplished four wonderful things - it filled me up, left me light on my toes, is one color party that grabs the eye and dances and also emptied out some items that had been hanging out in the fridge/pantry. The final result came out tasty.
- red + green (Curly) kale - the sweeter varieties (found in most grocery stores or farmers markets)
- red bell pepper
- fresh ginger + unsweetened shredded coconut
- pine nuts and almonds (definitely pine nuts, if possible)
- coconut oil (Trader Joe’s)
- salt + fresh black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- Pika Gorri sauce (aka a Basque dressing from Aldudes- a reduced, almost syrupy mix of white, red and balsamic vinegar, cherry juice, brandy and wheat starch). A mix of balsamic, white and red vinegar with a teaspoon or so of dijon mustard with something sweet such as maple syrup would be just as good, if not better.
- wash leaves, cut off excessive stems and then chop up in handfuls.
- chop up the bell pepper in slivers or decent chunks, whatever gets your goat.
- if making your dressing from scratch, I’d try about 1 tablespoon each of whichever vinegar you’ve chosen to mix with, a teaspoon of dijon, and start with a 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup. Whisk together with a pinch o of salt and pepper and taste to see if you need to add more of the syrup. Then whisk in about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Trust your instincts based on how much kale you are using in the salad. You can always save the dressing for the next day or so.
- in a small pan, toast the pine nuts and almonds on a low heat until brown. Careful, they will burn quickly.
- remove nuts and put a dollop of coconut oil (about 1/2 - 1 tablespoon) in the same pan. Add about a cup of the shredded coconut and toasted until lightly browned, then add about a tablespoon of the freshly grated ginger. Toast until fragrantly mixed. Remove from heat immediately.
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl, do a last minute seasoning of salt and fresh ground pepper, toss that salad well and get down on it.
SIDENOTE: I am really loving this green, curly kale because the leaf has some serious girth and structure. It feels substantial while you’re eating it and it holds very well for next day leftovers, even if previously dressed. Add a scoop of tuna or chicken salad the next day and you will power through with a lot of energy.